New Year, New Reading Goals!

I am horrible at resolutions. They are just not my thing.

However, I love goals. When I rejoined the working world I learned to refine my goal setting with making  S.M.A.R.T. goals. This acronym stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

While I should be setting some goals in the realm of health and fitness; I’m starting the year with some more attainable goals: reading goals.

I like a good challenge, and Goodreads emailed me to set my reading goals this year, inviting me to take part in the 2015 reading challenge. I would love to think that I would read 200 books in a year, like some of my friends,.–but unless that includes reading Llama Llama Red Pajama out loud 200 times this year, I’m afraid that goal would not be attainable.

Something I love even more than SMART goals is a well-crafted checklist. So when I came across this Facebook Reading Challenge, with a handy-dandy checklist, I was able to truly begin setting my reading goals for the year.

2015 Reading Challenge

I started with an easy book– “A book you can finish in a day”. I had just picked up The Color of Ordinary Timelast week, and took advantage of a quiet Sunday afternoon to devour it. It was an enjoyable read. I am currently working on “A book with more than 500 pages” by reading/listening to The Signature of All Things: A Novel. As a busy mom, I totally say that audio books count! (especially for the longer books!)

If you are the proud owner of a library card, may I introduce you to one of my favorite apps? I use Overdrive to check out eBooks and audiobooks from my local public library. You can check out books for up to 21 days and then they are automatically “returned”–so no late fees!

Some of the other books I am planning to devour read this year are:

That is a pretty good start for now! I have plenty on my to-read list! Join me over at Goodreads and we can keep up with our reading goals!


Chime in! What are your reading goals for 2015. What books do you look forward to reading?

Working Mom Realities: Days Off

Take time Back when I was a stay at home mom, I had busy days, and days when I had a lot less structure to my days. When I went back to work, the first year was HARD. All of a sudden, I lost all of my discretionary time. Plus, when I was home, I felt guilty if I did anything other than spend time with the kids or clean the house.

Now I’ve been at my job for over a year and a half. I know the ropes, we’ve renegotiated some of the household duties, and the kids have gotten just a little bit older and more independent.

I also battled with a serious bout of loneliness. Since then, I’ve learned to take some more time out for myself, and things that I enjoy, even if it does still make me feel guilty and more than a little self centered. But, I’m a better mom (and a better fundraiser) for it.

So today, on the last day of the year, I’m sitting, in my pajamas, with a big carafe of coffee by my side.  I am doing one of the things I love best. . .writing. I’m likely to get a month of blog posts written today (I’d not want to overwhelm you all at once!)

There is plenty I could be doing. There are always dishes to wash and laundry to fold. There is meal planning to do and decluttering to begin. But for today, for this morning, it is coffee and writing. I don’t get many days like this anymore; so I will revel in the background noise of a pair of fours counting down to a fifth birthday, the snoring of four tweens and teens, and the hum of the washing machine that I did take the time to load. and I will type to my heart’s content.

Chime in! What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

Working Mom Christmas Survival List


If I could send a care package to every working mom for this time of year, this is what would be in it. Maybe Santa will slip one (or more) of these into your stocking! This list was inspired by Man Crates. This is what I would want in my very own (pretty) gift package!

It Cosmetics – Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer

 Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer

This stuff covers up every sleepless night! I first tried this amazing product with my Ipsy subscription, and now I won’t go without it!


It Cosmetics – Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer, Deep – $14.99, 5.48 shipping – Available at Fullfillment By Amazon


Dunkin Donuts – Original Blend Ground Coffee Resealable Bag (Case of 4)

Dunkin Donuts - Original Blend Ground Coffee Resealable Bag (Case of 4)

Coffee. . .of course. And yes, I run on Dunkin’.


Dunkin Donuts – Original Blend Ground Coffee Resealable Bag (Case of 4) – $21.10, 6.51 shipping – Available at


Collection XIIX – Mirror Trim Infinity Scarf

Collection XIIX - Mirror Trim Infinity Scarf

A pretty scarf to hide coffee spills and dress up a plain Jane top.



Collection XIIX – Mirror Trim Infinity Scarf – $10.85, 5.48 shipping – Available at

(1 reviews)


Neutrogena – Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Original — 2 oz

Neutrogena - Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Original -- 2 oz

This little tube of hand lotion has been a purse staple for me since middle school. It works great on chapped toddler cheeks as well.


Neutrogena – Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Original — 2 oz – $9.12, 5.01 shipping – Available at Fullfillment By Amazon

(9 reviews)


Logitech – Ultrathin Keyboard Mini (Wireless – Bluetooth – White – Tablet – Membrane)

Logitech - Ultrathin Keyboard Mini (Wireless - Bluetooth - White - Tablet - Membrane)

This handy little keyboard can help make your work more portable–and your typing more accurate!


Logitech – Ultrathin Keyboard Mini (Wireless – Bluetooth – White – Tablet – Membrane) – $46.95 (50% off), Free shipping – Available at


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.

Read With Us Wednesday: “The Obituary Society”, Week 4 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

We are hosting a low-key, short attention span book group here on my blog and over at A few weeks ago we dove into The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. We know how busy moms can get, so we did not want to make you read a book all at once. . .though some of you did! We broke the book into five chapter hunks that could be read in a week while nursing a baby, or hiding in the bathroom, or reading right before falling asleep.

This week we are discussing Chapters 16-20 and the plot is thickening. Lila is going through some big changes, and while she is feeling more settled in Auburn. . . . Some things are making her feel very UNsettled. She also finds herself confused about two handsome men in her life, Max–whose ex-wife has suddenly appeared on the scene, and Asher, the handsome attorney who seems to fit into Auburn just as awkwardly as Lila does.

One of the scenes that stuck with me was when Asher takes Lila out to dinner–in the middle of a wheat field. As they eat, he toasts (with strawberry Snapple): “To being somewhere you never expected to be, and having no idea where you are going.”

That simple statement sums up my life. When I was growing up in California, I often visited my Michigan relatives, and imagined I would one day live in one of the two states. Marrying a Michigan boy seemed to cement that fact. And yet, here I am in North Dakota–a place that was never, ever on my radar. And, as much as I could live out the rest of my days here, I know that as the wife of a pastor, the future is always a mystery.

Chime in! Have you been reading along? Do you have suggestions for our next read? What statement has touched you the most? And make sure to pop over to She has a few sick kiddos today, so she may not get her post up until later, but you will want to join in on the conversation over there as well!


LeapTV Giveaway!

Last week I told you about my very favorite LeapFrog product, the LeapTV. This week, I’m giving one away!

Simply enter using the handy Rafflecopter form! There are several ways to enter. Have fun!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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